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CEVICHE ACAPULCO AND SOFTIES

For the week of Cinco de Mayo

A note from our General Manager & Consigliere:

My father, retired Charlotte attorney Tom Lockhart, used to rent staffed houses in Acapulco back in the ’70s and ’80s for family vacations at Christmas and New Years.  In those days, Acapulco was at the peak of its popularity as a jet set destination but had become accessible to affluent middle class families.  Our favorite house was “Casa Gina” and was owned at one point by the family that owned the Dallas Cowboys (probably Clint Murchison Jr.).  The house had a staff of: one cook (Gloria), one houseboy (Rufino, and later his son René), a gardener-pool boy, a laundress, and several assistants.  Gloria and Rufino were the stars of the show.  Gloria was as good as any chef in town – and Acapulco was home to some truly excellent chefs.  Rufino was like a well-connected friend who always managed to anticipate our interests. 

A one-day highlight of every trip was when we would charter a few ski boats to ride to Pichilingue in Puerto Marques.  Gloria would make up a big batch of ceviche, which was served in a cold soup similar to gazpacho.  We’d take a big iced cooler of ceviche to sustain us during a long day in the blazing sun while drinking gin and tonic with fresh limes from a tree at Casa Gina, skiing, body surfing, lounging on the sand, and watching the women sunbathe topless.  The ceviche was amazing and made it possible to endure the rigors of this torrid day.  It was light and refreshing, and yet still substantial enough to provide sustaining nourishment.  Those were deliriously good times. They say you can never go home again, but I can taste the ceviche from here!

So in honor of Cinco de Mayo, we will be serving Ceviche Acapulco as a first course on Wednesday, to complement the grouper main course. In case you don’t know, Cinco de Mayo is an annual commemoration of “the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862” (Wikipedia).  Mexico is an enchanted land with a gloriously rich history.  Ceviche Acapulco is just one of a multitude of culinary delights from our southern neighbor.

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To continue to enjoy the season’s bounty of softshell crab, we’ll have softies as a first course on Monday and Tuesday served with wild ramps from western NC, early season tomatoes, strawberries, and asparagus. Monday’s main will be crab cakes and Tuesday will be halibut.

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¡BUEN PROVECHO!